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Much declamation has been employed to convince the world of a very plain truth, that to be able to speak well is an ornamental and useful accomplishment. Without the laboured panegyrics of ancient or modern orators, the importance of a good elocution is sufficiently obvious. Every one will acknowledge it to be of some consequence, that what a man has hourly occasion to do, should be done well. Every private company, and almost every public assembly affords opportunities of remarking the difference between a just and graceful, and a
faulty and unnatural elocution; and there are few
persons who do not daily experience the advantages of the former, and the inconveniences of the latter.
The great difficulty is, not to prove that it is a defir
able thing to be able to read and speak with propriety, but to point out a practicable and easy method by which this accomplishment may be acquired.
Follow Nature, is certainly the fundamental law
of Oratory, without a regard to which, all other rules will only produce affected declamation, not just elo- .
cution. And some accurate observers, judging perhaps, from a few unlucky specimens of modern eloquence, have concluded that this is the only law
which ought to be prescribed; that all artificial rules
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PRESUMING then, that the acquisition of the art of speaking, like all other practical arts, may be facilitated by rules, I proceed to lay before my readers, in a plain didaćtic form, such rules respecting elocution, as appear best adapted to form a correół and graceful speaker.
R U L E F. Let your ARTICULATION be DISTINCT and DELI. BERATE.